|Garmin-Barracuda's Ryder Hesjedal, of Canada, celebrates on the podium as he wears the pink jersey after the 166-km 9th stage of the Giro d'Italia from San Giorgio del Sannio to Frosinone May 14, 2012. (REUTERS)
Canadian Ryder Hesjedal held on to the pink jersey as the leader of the Giro d'Italia after Monday's ninth stage.
Hesjedal, who on Saturday became the first Canadian cyclist to wear the pink jersey, finished seventh after avoiding a crash on the last turn that took out many of the top contenders. Francisco Ventoso of Spain won the 173-kilometre stage from San Giorgio Del Sannio to Frosinone in a sprint finish while Italians Fabio Felline and Giacomo Nizzolo were second and third.
"Another perfect day by the team," Hesjedal said. "We took control in the approach to the last hills and I was able to benefit from perfect position. My legs felt great and I was able to stay out of trouble. Another sweet day in pink."
Hesjedal, a native of Victoria, holds a nine-second advantage on Spain's Joaquin Rodriguez heading into Tuesday's 187km 10th stage.